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Navajo Tacos A.K.A. Fry Bread

Navajo Tacos A.K.A. Fry Bread


Soft and crunchy. Chewy and delicious. What has all these things and more? Navajo tacos baby. These bad boys take taco night to a whole new level.

Basically what we’re making here is the tortilla or fry bread that you’re eating your tacos on. It’s probably the most simple and forgiving dough I’ve even thrown together. Four ingredients and you’re rolling em out. It doesn’t get much better than that.

That Dough Though…

dry ingredients for fry bread

Flour, baking powder, salt and water come together to make this shaggy textured dough that you’ll separate into 10 (ish) portions that you’ll be rolling out individually. It took me frying a few giant ones and a few tiny ones to get a feel for the size we wanted. As you’re rolling them, just think of the size of a normal taco sized tortilla, or about 6-8 inches.

fry bread dough being mixed

Useful Equipment Alert!!!

I have a set of Pyrex mixing bowls that we purchased from Costco. Admittedly, they were purchased with the intention of giving them as a gift. We ended up keeping them for ourselves, and I’m more that thankful that we did. They’re great looking bowls, and they take a beating. Plus, each size has a lid!!! This is the set I have here. I HIGHLY recommend them: Pyrex 8 Piece Glass Bowl Set w/ Lids.

When I made the dough, it was definitely super wet. Depending on your type of flour and how you measure it, yours may be just as well. You’ll just need to keep adding flour until it pulls away from the sides of your bowl while mixing. At that point I turned mine out into a floured counter top and had some wax paper ready for the portioned balls.

Be sure to keep your hands floured when working with this stuff. It absorbs flour really fast. Also, keep your rolling pin nice and floured. They’ll want to stick to that too.

fry bread dough

If you find yourself rolling one out and it just want stay or it keeps springing back, set it aside and work on another one. This little break will let it relax and you should be able to roll it out again in a few minutes.

Once you start frying, and as soon you drop one in your cooking fat, go ahead and roll your next one out. This process goes fast so you want to be ready to keep coming.

fry bread down in the hot oil

I also have to recommend putting them on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to cool. If you wrap them up, they’ll get soggy. On a wire rack, they’ll keep their crispness and fluffiness without getting soggy.

Seems Legit

My family was given this recipe from a long time friend of my wife’s. She would have Navajo Tacos on occasion when she would go for dinner at their house a lot and has always talked about how good they were. I told her to contact him and get the recipe. In turn sent us a picture of an index card with the ingredients and the basic instructions of “mix all ingredients, heat in non stick skillet for 30 seconds each side.”

You can do these in a skillet like you would a normal tortilla. Basically, in a non stick skillet over medium-high heat with no oil, cook your tortilla about 30 seconds each side or until done.

Frying them, like I have, has it’s obvious benefits in regards to flavor, crisp and chew. There’s something to be said about the simplicity of throwing them in a skillet for 30 seconds a side. They’re delicious and ready in a heart beat. So don’t think you can’t opt for the dry frying method.

navajo tacos plated up

I can’t say enough how much I love everything about these Navajo Tacos. They’re so quick, cheap and easy, you’d be a fool not to try them. Plus when you put these out instead of normal tortillas or shells for taco night, your family and friends will jump with joy. Guaranteed!

Let me know if you make these and how they turn out. We had so much fun making them (and eating them) so I hope you do too!

navajo taco up close


  • (for fry bread only)
  • 4 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour, possibly more
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • oil for frying (I used Crisco)

Making the Dough:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Make a well in the center, and add the warm water. Mix together with wooden spoon or sturdy spatula.
  3. Mixture may start out thin and runny. Add flour and keep mixing until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl while you mix.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured counter top. Divide into 10 equal sized portions and place on floured wax paper.
  5. Take each portion of the dough, and on the floured counter top, roll them to be 6-8 inches across.

Frying the Dough:

  1. Heat about an inch of vegetable oil, canola oil, or Crisco in a heavy cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat until shimmering.
  2. Place rolled out fry bread dough in hot oil. Press down in the middle with a metal spatula or tongs to keep from bubbling in the middle for 15 seconds or so.
  3. Fry 2-3 minutes per side or until gold brown and puffed up.
  4. Remove to wire cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Store in 200 degree oven to keep warm.
  5. Serve with all usual taco fixings. You can pick them up and eat them like a taco or cut and eat with a fork.